Published March 6, 2007
Article , Charles Jeter , XBox 360
I needed a break in early December so Ben (my temporary combat SAR swimmer roomie) and I went down to the San Diego Car Show. Imagine my surprise when I saw an XBOX 360 customized car – amazing crossover. Amid the muscle cars and hopped up trucks is this little Suzuki packed with gaming hardware and cutting edge display technology. I especially liked the circuit board door paneling.
Obviously this reached out to the car show fans, many of whom were attending with their kids and all were amazed. The big screen in the back allowed the car owner to play with the wireless remote, and a reverse projector controlled all the magic.
Looking past the projector I could see the action was controlled by two Xboxes – that heat issue they have is a show stopper for sure, and who wants the action to stop in a car show!
I was very impressed with the workmanship that put the controllers into recessed compartments, and for a total of four controllers, two Xbox systems could be used for all four occupants to play head to head or co-op.
What I’m waiting for is an Xbox motorcycle.
Continuing his review from last time, Charles digs deeper into RainbowSix Vegas..
The AI in the game uses different scenario based voice commands and you get this sinking feeling regarding the yell for reinforcements. And everything is three dimensional. The first time the enemy drops into a room using fast ropes, if you aren’t using tactical overwatch moves, everyone is going to get wiped out. At the very least it has you closely examining every dark corner for a sniper, and every high ceiling casino floor for fastroping terrorists.
Squad level tactics is a topic I wrote an online manual for another, turn-based play by email game three years ago (ed – Charles is writing an article on Laser Squad Nemesis coming soon). Using this background in a first person shooter with a co-op mode by itself is highly addictive.
Add in a real world friend in the same room, who knows the same basic moves and everything turns into a precision event. Every room sweep is a blast, and we are totally sucked into the experience. My palms sweat as they grip the wireless controller, and seeing a good sized splitscreen with 1080i detail makes it easier to pick off the waves of terrorists that we wade through. One level’s kills – 35 for me, 40 for Ben. That’s after we worked three hours to clear the single stage (Dante’s). Brutal yet somehow strangely relaxing.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that Tom Clancy’s second best move was to get into interactive gaming. In the late 1980s, Red Storm Rising was a game that was actually encouraged to be used by aircrewmen as training in both sight recognition of Soviet warships and in basic antisubmarine warfare. With his franchise rights for Rainbow Six going in several different directions, the accuracy and detail payoff tremendously. This is a game with multiple replayability in co-op and single player mode.
And that’s not even covering the XBox Live experience. But after playing with a good, skilled friend, I think the Live with random teammates will pale in comparison.
Ben, one of my Navy flying buddies is staying with me as a geoBach (Geographical Bachelor). He is midway through refresher training for his role as a carrier-based helo Combat Search & Rescue (CSAR) air-crewman. Think The Guardian because that was Ben’s exact job when he was training in Pensacola.
He and I went through jet training for the S-3 Viking as enlisted backseat guys together in 1990. A few years back he transferred to a training command for an instructor tour, so Ben’s kids and wife are still back in Pensacola.
The fun we get from playing Rainbow Six: Vegas is extraordinary. Never mind the stunning graphics as this Tom Clancy inspired FPS is brought to life on a wall-sized HDTV 1080i LCD with Bose wave acoustic sound ripping machinegun fire and explosions, it’s the cameraderie I get from sitting next to one of my best friends and doing in the bad guys with a team effort. He’s had the training through his CSAR experience, mine was privately held in the deserts of New Mexico, but we both are able to adapt to calls of:
‘Loading… Moving… Supppressing the hallway’
He and I will play from about six to nine at night, each of us talking to our significant others on our bluetooth headsets as we pause the game to answer calls. Believe me, if we were where they were, we wouldn’t get the chance to spend so much time in front of the 360, so we savor the opportunity.